Update! Animal Cruelty Charges Filed Against Alex Smith & Cody Hetrick In Pennsylvania For Kicking A Defenseless Deer To Death

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has filed charges against 18-year-old Alex Smith and 17-year-old Cody Hetrick who posted on social media videos of themselves holding down and repeatedly kicking and beating an injured white-tailed deer to death.

As previously reported by WAN, the heinous event took place on November 30th of last year, at the beginning of Pennsylvania’s controversial deer hunting season.

On Friday, Smith was charged with two felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two conspiracy charges, as well as tampering with evidence, corruption of minors, and several state game law violations.

Recognized as an adult who could be sent to prison, Smith, the stepson of the Brookville police chief, was arraigned on charges before Magisterial District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak and was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

While the Pennsylvania Game Commission notes in a recently released statement that it does not release the names of minors who are charged with violations of the state Game and Wildlife Code, the juvenile in this case has previously been identified as Hetrick.

Paperwork containing charges against Hetrick, the son of the owners of the restaurant appropriately named Devil’s BBQ, was also filed on Friday; starting the process to send the case against him to juvenile court.

Both Smith and Hetrick should be tried as adults and receive substantial consequences, including jail time, for their barbaric crime.

Each defendant was interviewed as part of the investigation and confirmed they were hunting together on November 30th in an enclosed tree stand on a property that Smith’s family owns in Beaver Township, Jefferson County.

Hetrick shot and wounded a buck, then missed with a follow-up shot. The deer was immobilized, video was taken, then shared through the messaging app Snapchat. One recipient of the video saved it to his phone and contacted the Game Commission, and his phone, as well as the defendants’ phones, were seized for forensic analysis.

As per the Game Commission, the filing of charges ends a “thorough investigation about an incident that has drawn much attention and public outrage.”

It should not be the end of public outrage though, nor should the attention dwindle about the indisputable correlation between hunting and animal cruelty. Despite the claims of “ethical” hunters, this travesty is yet another reason why the hunting of innocent animals should be banned.

Unfathomably, between the updates about the unconscionable case involving these teenagers posted on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Facebook page, are some applauding other children for their hunting “accomplishments” in 2019 which is equally as ridiculous.

Photos from Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Facebook page

This is tragic on so many levels and must stop before more innocent animals, and children, fall victim to this abhorrent so-called “sport” and false claims that it is for “conservation.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate. #GoVeg

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